Krassimir Ivandjiiski
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S-300 to Iran, Patriot to Poland: Who's Getting the Better Deal?


Would Poland do better to get its air defense systems in Russia, or has it just secured capabilities Iran can only dream of?










Also China has recently confirmed it will purchase the S-400 air defense system










News that Russia is resuming the deal to supply Iran with S-300 surface-to-air missiles (originally signed in 2007, and cancelled in 2010) was followed within days with the news that Poland is set to purchase American-made Patriot surface-to-air-missiles.

It seems pertinent to ask which of the two countries is getting the better air defense system. One succinct answer provided via Quora:

Patriot can deal with a Ballistic Missiles with a 1,000 km range.  
S-300VM and S-400, a Ballistic Missiles with a range of up to 3,500 km.

S-300VM and S-400 consistently outrange all versions of Patriot in terms of TBM footprint, aerodynamic engagement envelope, and TAR/TER radar range.






9M96 has a more sound design than PAC-3:  The 9M96E/E2 radial thruster package is located at the fuselage CoG, to generate a direct force to turn the missile, rather than producing a pitch/yaw moment to use body lift to turn, as is the case in the ERINT/PAC-3 design.

The S-300/400’s SAGG guidance concept is more advanced and less susceptible to EA than Patriot’s simpler TVM.

The S-300/350/400 have a demonstrated 5 minute set-up/tear-down time, compared to 45-60 minutes for US Patriot variants (Germany might be able to deploy their quicker if they’re using the mobile MAN launcher chassis).

The AN/MPQ-53/65 has a search coverage of 120 degrees, and an engagement coverage of 90 degrees.  The Russian systems routinely use off-board TARs employing 360 degree mechanical search modes allowing the use of narrower engagement beamwidths providing a reduced electronic footprint for the TER in comparison. 

Another comparison by one Rakesh Krishnan Simha:

Unlike the American Patriot, which was hyped as a Scud killer but was in fact a resounding dud, the Russian missile actually works. According to Boris Bunkin, the chief designer of the S-300, Desert Storm demonstrated it is not enough to hit a ballistic missile and cause it to lose trajectory; it is important to destroy its warhead. Bunkin solved this problem. His team conducted tests involving live Scud missiles, demonstrating the S-300 effectively destroys warheads at the point of interception.



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